Earlier this summer we were invited to the Connacht Hotel for a summer staycation. Off to Galway we go, hormonal and heavily pregnant with three kids, sure it will be fun. And it was, apart from the FIVE HOUR DRIVE to get there. We squashed three kids into the car, a double buggy, everything that comes with a baby and enough clothes and toiletries for our two-night stay at the Connacht Hotel. We could not breathe. The boy took off his seatbelt too many times to count. Kadie puked some vile substance we have yet to confirm. Frankie poked and pulled the head of his big sister the whole journey, and the big sister just repeatably said ‘are we there yet’.
Give me strength!
We got there in the end. Easy enough to find with my trusted friend google maps. We were greeted by a lovely receptionist, big smile on her face. She kind of made me sick. I was in the horrors, tired and my back was sore from the long journey but our room were ready. A first for any hotel stay.
We were spoilt upon arrival of our room, awaiting us was a buffet of fruit, snacks, drinks and a box of choccies. That was me sorted for the night. The room or should I say rooms were lovely, standard hotel decor but clean, bright and spacious. We had two double hotel rooms, with a sitting room connecting both rooms together. We had a kitchen, complete with a cooker, fridge, microwave, and a sink. Each room had a kingsize bed, a single bed, one of the rooms had a travel cot for Kadie and two spotless bathrooms with a shower and bath.
The kids played fire on the floor jumping from one bed to the sofa and back. We had three televisions, each of them showing the exact same kids show. I had notions of locking Joe and the kids in one room and sleeping for the weekend in the other. It didn’t happen, the kids had too much energy that needed burning so we went for a swim.
The pool was huge, with a section dedicated to laps, a recreational swimming area, a shallow kids pool and a jacuzzi. The kids went wild. The leisure center also had a sauna and steam room. The changing facilities were standard with lockers, towels, and hairdryers. there was a nice added touch of hair straighteners and a playpen for babies so mammies could get dressed in peace. Oh and there was loads of arm bands, floats and pool noodles for the kids, free to use of course.
The Connacht Hotel have a Kids Club of all Kids Clubs and they actually take your kids. This is probably a common practice in Irish Hotels but we have family scattered around Ireland so would normally bunk in with them for weekends away so it was all new to us. They take kids aged three or over at a small charge, so Kayla spent the weekend there, she loved it. They had movie nights, board games, pool tables, a Wii, enough arts and crafts to last a lifetime, a library and a separate room full of toys for little babogs. The girls working in the Kids Club were fantastic with the kids, I complimented them time and time again. It was obvious they loved their job.
My only faults with our weekend stay at the Connacht Hotel was the balcony, we had no key for the door. We had to wedge one of the sofa’s to stop the toddler from escaping. Also for obvious reasons, there are fire trap doors connecting the room but I had an awful fear one of the kid’s losing a finger so we used our suitcase and buggy to keep them open so the kids could move freely from room to room.
During our stay, we ate in both Rueben’s Restaurant and Bar Solo. I had a bit of a hump when we arrived and were seated next to two huge Hen parties in Reuben’s Restaurant but I have to admit how respectful they were of all the families with young children. However, because of the huge crowds, the service was a bit slow that night. We had three hungry babogs to keep quiet and entertained which proved unsuccessful. In the end, when our food did arrive, it was delicious. Joe had steak, I opted for the fish and the kids had spaghetti and sausies. The service was much better in the bar the following night and we got lots of starters rather than main meals, and everything was devoured.
Each morning there was a full Irish continental breakfast starting at 7am, handy for our bunch of early risers. I loved that the restaurants had an unlimited amount of highchairs and boosters for the smallies, both spotlessly clean. And the service for tea and coffees were prompt as you all know how much I love my morning coffee.
We ventured out on the Saturday into Galway city and it’s surroundings. I spent my childhood summers in a Gaeltacht out by TG4 so I had a fair idea where we wanted to go. The Connacht Hotel is located a few kilometers from the city center, handy if you have kids in toe or want to head out for the night.
There is so much to do in Salthill, from the Aquarium to a train ride and city bus tours (kids go free). We spent some time on the beach and in a playground in Salthill. Then we went starfish and crab fishing in Spideal and the big kid was over the moon to find a carnival in Salthill that we had a little whirl around too.
Overall we had a fabulous time at The Connacht Hotel and I’d go back again in a heartbeat. The room/s we stayed in were brilliant and I don’t think I could do a hotel stay without the freedom of the living area once the kids go to bed. The kitchen was an added bonus and made sterilizing bottles fuss free. The Connacht Hotel thrive on being a family friendly hotel and it met all my expectations. For more information check out www.theconnacht.ie.
Apologies for the lack and quality of photos, either The Connacht Hotel or one of my kids ate my memory card. We received this two-night stay,
a towel and one evening meal for the purpose of this review.